For this test we looked at what pc-speakers are readily available in our Price Checker. For this we left out the cheapest models: speaker technology is not subject to the law of Moore and a price that is too low guarantees a mediocre experience. We mainly looked at models from 42 pounds / 50 euros to 85 pounds / 100 euros. Eventually we received one or more sets of speakers from five different brands. The cheapest costs indeed around 42 pounds / 50 euros and where the most expensive should cost no more than 127 pounds / 150 euros.
Creative is still active, but definitely has a shrinking market share. We received the affordable T3250W and the more expensive T30 and T50 Wireless. Hercules is more focused on peripherals for race games and flight sims, as well as DJ-equipment, but still has some pc-speaker sets and send us the very affordable XPS 2.1 BassBoost. Trust sent us the Byron, which is a rather expensive 2.1 set for the brand’s standards.
We received the Z333 and the Z533 from Logitech, two sets who were introduced a while ago. They were the first new models in a long time from the brand that has been focusing more on accessories for mobile devices on one hand and gaming peripherals on the other. The brand’s top model, the Z906, has been available for more than 5 years now. That model was a ‘cost down’ compared to its predecessor, the Z5500. This trend is characteristic for the segment and especially stands out with a market leader such a Logitech.
It is the relatively new Edifier who seems to be overtaking the market. In contrast to the competition, this brand has a growing number of models in the collection rather than a shrinking number of models, including models (far) beyond 85 pounds / 100 euros. Recently we have discussed some sets of Edifier, but in this test it is represented with no less than 4 models.
Alternative: studio monitors
As you will read, the quality of many of the tested models is not that great, which is a consequence of the manufacturers’ efforts to keep the price at a relatively low point. For those who are looking for a set of speakers for their PC, particularly for listening to music, there is an alternative in the form of so called studio monitors. These speakers are designed for the use in sound studios, therefore they are made to produce a neutral sound. Affordable examples from the latter (emphatically not real monitors) are the Hercules XPS 2.0 60 and the 80 DJ models, which we already have reviewed in 2013 and are still available. Especially the 80 DJ is a good purchase for around 105 pounds / 125 euros. Those who have a larger budget can choose from a wide variety of models, with a sound quality that will exceed far beyond the quality of the sets from this test.